State Health Policy Highlights Addressing Social Determinants of Health

Publication Year: 2019
Patient Need Addressed: Homelessness/housing
Population Focus: Medicaid beneficiaries
Type of Literature: Grey


Insights Results

Overview of article

  • With an improved understanding of how social determinants of health (SDOH) factors influence cost and quality of care for Medicaid populations, states and managed care entities can take actions to develop new strategies to better address disparities in outcomes for these populations in a more cost-effective manner. As state Medicaid agencies consider addressing SDOH, there are a range of models they can employ. State Health and Value Strategies (SHVS) has published resources and hosted webinars with information for state health officials on approaches to addressing SDOH, including the resources described in more detail below


  • The SHVS resources profiled in this brief illustrate 2 avenues that are currently being implemented, and provide actionable strategies that other states can adapt and employ to address SDOH in their state. The following insights outline both avenues: 1) Medicaid and Social Determinants of Health: Adjusting Payment and Measuring Health Outcomes examines the value to Medicaid programs of accounting for SDOH in setting payments. As the brief illustrates, by doing so, plans and accountable care organizations are provided with more accurate payments, and states with a better understanding of quality across providers and populations. The issue brief also explores the methods Medicaid programs use to examine SDOH and account for them in their payment and quality improvement policies; and 2) Experiencing Homelessness: Emerging Best Practices and Recommendations for State Purchasers provides information for state purchasers, Medicaid plans and providers interested in learning more about the role of supportive housing and how they can leverage existing resources to provide housing and services to vulnerable Medicaid beneficiaries
  • The issue brief links to a number of different resources that provide greater detail about the actionable strategies for states and managed care entities to consider when developing new cost effective strategies to address SDOH